Python for kids?

News123 news123 at
Thu Dec 11 00:36:04 CET 2008


bearophileHUGS at wrote:
> On Dec 7, 9:13 pm, "Russ P." <Russ.Paie... at> wrote:
>> I have a 12-year-old son who spends too much time playing Xbox live
>> and watching silly YouTube videos. I would like to try to get him
>> interested in programming.
> . . . 
> But I think it's better for you to help him get interest in problem-
> solving . . .
> Once those interests are in place, he will
> probably go looking by himself for things like programming languages,
> . . . 
> Otherwise you risk pushing a person to learn using a tool (programming
> is interesting by itself, but it's mostly a tool still) before having
> any use for such tool or desire to learn it. And this may lead to
> someone with no passion to solve problems and learn.

People are different.

I for example learnt programming at 13 without having any initial use
for it.
My main motivation was, that my father brought the first computer, I
ever saw (AIM-65) from work, but didn't want to spent time to explain me
what it does and how it works.
Instead he just gave me a book about BASIC and hoped I wouldn't bother
him anymore.
(For me as a slightly stubborn teenager this was challenge enough to
show, that I could write a (whatever) basic program.

If the book, that teaches programming has just a few 'fun examples' it
could be enough to get him (Rus' son) started thinking about his own
problems he could then solve with writing programs.

Russ should best be able to know what could be 'fun-examples' for his son.

Fun-examples could be things like:
- high low number guessing program
- drawing funny pictures with turtle graphics
- printing out all possible combinations / permutations of som digits
- towers of hanoi
- a very basic pong game
- writing a mini data base for his 'whatever' - collection

It might however be a little more complicated to motivate somebody to
write some small rather simple programsm when it's so simple to google
and download so much SW without knowing anythng about programming.
20-30 years ago it was basically impossible to locate and download (even
did'nt have a modem :-) ) ready made SW

Depending on his interests he might also be more interested in learning
a spreadsheet SW / a drawing program  and then attack the related macros
/ scripting language



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